Over-the-Counter Beauty Tips (cont.)

  • Orange slices. Just rub a slice of orange on your face, Irons says. It revives dull skin -- the acid, the vitamin C!

  • Vegetable shortening. This is great for eczema, Irons says. "Hospitals call it Cream C, for Crisco," she says. Heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds, then slather it on.

  • Egg whites. For an instant facelift, dab egg whites over your face, sit stock still until it dries, then apply makeup. Sort of a poor woman's Botox!

  • Avocado. Mash one up, mix in a little lemon juice, and apply to face and neck and let it dry. "A great neck firmer," Irons says.

  • Rice flour. This is an "old-timey" secret, Irons whispers. Put some in a compact -- it's "the best face powder money can buy."

  • Pumpkin. Yup, out of the can, hold the sugar and cinnamon. It's a great conditioner for the face or whole body.

  • Parsley flakes. Put a few spoons in an ice cube tray section, add water, and freeze. Rub it on a pimple and it takes down swelling in a few minutes.

  • Coffee grounds. Actually, these are for the whole body, especially problem "rear" and thigh areas. Rub the grounds into your cellulite with a veggie brush. "Better than any loofah," says Irons. Then wrap with plastic wrap and sit for 15 minutes. Make sure you use full-octane coffee -- no decaf.

  • Eggs, honey, lemon juice. This is a mask for rough skin, not dry. Combine one egg, one tablespoon of honey, and a half teaspoon of lemon juice, apply with your fingers and leave it on 20-30 minutes, then rinse and apply freshener.

  • Beets. Had to include this one from Warhol superstar Ultra Violet (remember her?). She used to cut the top off a beet and carry it in her purse as a lip stain. Bet that drew some stares in restaurants!

Overall, dermatologist Kimball is lukewarm on do-it-yourself cosmetics. "None of these will hurt you," she says. "But cosmetic companies have put a lot of work and technology into developing their products."

Hey -- is that a shot at those beets?

Star Lawrence is a medical journalist based in the Phoenix area.

Published April 5, 2004.

SOURCES: Diane Irons, author of Bargain Beauty Secrets and Age-Defying Beauty Secrets: Look and Feel Younger Every Day. Alexa B. Kimball, MD, MPH, assistant professor of dermatology, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, Calif. The Models' Way to Beauty, Slenderness and Glowing Health by Oleda Baker, Prentice Hall, 1973.

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